Fennel Roasted Carrot & Shallot Salad with Granny Smith Apples

IMG_7383Despite the winter slump, I’ve been trying to eat more veggies and get back to healthier eating in general.  There’s a produce store nearby so last weekend I stocked up on baby brussel sprouts, coloured carrots, sweet potatoes, baby kale, alfalfa sprouts, grape tomatoes, avocados, juice oranges, and more!  I’ve also been trying to buy ingredients I can use for multiple recipes.  For instance, I made a cheddar topped shepherd’s pie a few weeks ago and used the extra cheese I had for homemade mac ‘n cheese.  I had leftover carrots from this recipe so I used them for carrot “fries” for another (see previous post).

This salad is great on its own, or you could use it as a side.  I had it for lunch along with another obsession of mine, avocado toast.  It calls for quite a bit of fennel, which a lot of people don’t care for.  I happen to like it, but I also don’t mind black licorice either.  I could easily eat a box of Good & Plenty in one sitting!  You can adjust the amount of fennel you use or omit it altogether and use a different herb, etc.  The salad is best served warm or at room temperature.  I heated my leftovers in the microwave for about 20 seconds or so just to get rid of the chill from the fridge.  And use coloured carrots if you can find them!  They made the dish so colorful, and combined with the citrus, the salad was a perfect winter pick-me-up!

IngredientsIMG_7393
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 bunch carrots, peeled and sliced in half then quarters
2 small shallots (or 1 large), sliced with half-inch thickness
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1-2 teaspoons honey
1 granny smith apple, cored and shaved/cut into thin slices
handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
juice from half of 1 juice orange
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375°.  Heat a small pan over medium-low heat, add fennel seeds.  Toast seeds for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and slightly brown.  Move the seeds around while toasting so they don’t burn.  Remove from heat and place in a mortar.  Allow to cool and grind with pestle.

IMG_7395In a large bowl, combine the carrots, shallots, crushed fennel, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Turn onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through, until lightly browned and tender.  Remove from oven and drizzle with honey.  Let cool slightly.

IMG_7397Return the carrot mixture to the large bowl and combine with the shaved apples, parsley, orange juice, and toasted sesame seeds.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.  Enjoy!

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